Is there anyone finer than Alexander Cockburn ("Wild Justice," 3/13)? No, no, no. I had received so much e-mail about the "anti-Semitism" on the Nixon tapes, a president whom ultra-right-wing Jews consider a hero, but not a peep about the really unforgivable murders planned by Graham and Nixon.
Betty Molchany, Front Royal, VA
A Grosswirth of Praise
MIKE Signorile: I want to congratulate you on your wonderful article, "The Vatican's Closet" ("The Gist," 3/13). My wife and I have been consistently supportive of the gay community and share your dismay over the hypocritical attitude of the Vatican on homosexuality.
Raymond Grosswirth, Rochester, NY
Rosie's Lips to Ric's Ear
MIKE Signorile: I wanted to take a moment to compliment you on "The Vatican's Closet." Lately, I have been having too much fun needling my Catholic friends regarding those pesky pedophilic priests. Your article was well written and informative. While I was on your home page to obtain your e-mail address, I also read your article on Rosie O'Donnell (3/6). I howled with laughter because, in my opinion, you have her current outing trials and tribulations down. I especially enjoyed the bits on Diane and Barbara. Although I agree with what you have said about Rosie, I will, like millions of others including Middle America, be watching as Rosie finally utters the words we have all waited so long to hear.
Riccardo De Pasquale, Oxnard, CA
MIKE Signorile: Just read your poison-filled diatribe against the Catholic Church. I'm Jewish, so I have no dog in this fight, but a thought occurred to me while reading your bitter and vicious reactionary hit piece: Why exactly do you hate Jesus so much? What did he ever do to you? I hope you are not mad at him for "making you" homosexual. That kind of attitude will probably cost you in the long run, don'tcha think?
Les Love, Ann Arbor, Michigan
You Mean Full, Ripe, Pouty Lips?
MUGGER: Is it me or does John Edwards send shudders down anyone else's spine (3/13)? He has a sort of slick Antichrist veneer, which makes Clinton seem sincere. Preprogrammed words drip from his pouty lips as he tells hardcore liberal Dems what they want to hear, then turns around the next day and makes bold, supportive statements on the war to keep up some moderate credentials. It's not his lack of sincerity that scares me, though it does, but the fawning attitude of media, which loves to state how he is the real deal and a serious presidential candidate. If Osama thought we were pushovers under Clinton, I wonder how he would feel with another lawyer president, who makes the last one seem like Churchill.
John McCormick, Woonsocket, RI
Hell in a Handcart
The article by George Szamuely ("Taki's Top Drawer," 3/6) is a good portrayal of where justice is headed. America helped to tear up that country, and then destroy it.
Willard D. Gray, Sumner, IL
Innocent His Ass
So, library book thief George Szamuely thinks Slobodan Milosevic ("Taki's Top Drawer," 3/6), the ex-dictator ("elected president," in Szamuely's preferred parlance) of "Yugoslavia" (the rump of Yugoslavia, consisting of Serbia and the tiny republic of Montenegro) is getting a bum rap. He calls the crimes of the Serbs, which were covered extensively for 10 years, "ludicrous charges manufactured by the intelligence agencies of the very same countries that waged aggressive war against his nation." If only.
Anyone with a functional memory can recall that, in fact, the U.S. and Europe sat on their hands for years while the Serbs ethnically cleansed various parts of the former Yugoslavia. They besieged Sarajevo for years, killing the beleaguered inhabitants of that city with artillery and sniper fire. They drove tens of thousands of people out of their homes. Perhaps some people remember the murder of 7000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, a UN "safe haven," when soldiers under the UN flag shamefully handed these helpless civilians over. I vividly recall a tv documentary on that incident, and the pathetic excuses offered by the UN commander at the time.
But all this reality, all this grief and suffering, isn't real. It's just the fabrications of hostile intelligence agencies. I don't know what motivates a twisted dingbat like Szamuely. But it's morally revolting.
Jason Zenith, Manhattan
Reading, Writing, From Redding
Alexander Cockburn: Great article last week. Always enjoy your writing. Talk about a controlled media. Right on.
Don Beaudoin, Redding, CA
From One Sock to Another
MUGGER: Goddammit, you're good! I could have written your current column myself?if I were half the writer you are. And, on another topic, your Red Sox references are not lost on me, a White Sox fan of 60 years. We, too, have been cursed (since 1919), although we, like you, may have a chance against the Steinbrenner steamroller this year. From my lips to God's ears.
Marty Robinson, Prospect Heights, IL
Yes, His Nickname's Gene
Needless to say, I didn't mean you, Taki, in my impassioned attacks on the self-hating Christian majority in the contemporary Western world ("Top Drawer," 3/13). By now I've decided that you must be some kind of mutant.
Paul Gottfried, Elizabethtown, PA
Pee You, Taki
What an extraordinary column. Taki, a name well chosen, assumes that taking Saddam Hussein's piece off the board is an Israeli idea?as if the State Dept. were not aware that Saddam has biological weapons, has not hesitated to use chemical warfare on the Kurds and might very well use his arsenal again, or rent it to those who perceive the West as the Great Satan. Some of these victims might even be Western journalists. I wonder whether Taki is in need of a sheet and pillowcase when he attends selected demonstrations?a rubber sheet, of course.
Stefan Kanfer, Manhattan
The Demagogic Party
MUGGER: As one who has known John McCain for now approaching 50 years, I can attest to the accuracy of your characterization of him (3/13). Regrettably, his willingness to engage in feckless sanctimony and to attempt to divert the truth by recklessly embellishing "facts" to his advantage has remained, despite the life-changing challenges he has endured.
And you are again correct to draw attention to the exercise of blatant abuse of power and precedence by the sanctimonious Democrat majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who willingly and merrily trash their own very words, and supposedly fervently stated convictions spoken when they were in the minority, in order to seek to impose rigid ideology tests to deny confirmation to "highly qualified" judicial nominees of the President. And if some slime and smears must be used by the willing radical left-wing groups to facilitate and attempt to disguise this raw, blatant abuse of precedence and constitutional authority?well too bad, eggs must be broken to create an omelet!
I particularly love the diligence with which these same cretins fought to overturn the President's action to remove the ABA from the process of vetting judicial nominees?only to have the self-same Democrats wantonly ignore the ABA's evaluation of the qualifications of the nominees! Or to hear Dianne Feinstein and others state the 2000 election failed to provide President Bush with a "mandate," this unique decision reached unilaterally by Democrats who sit in power solely because of the success of the efforts of members of their caucus to persuade a "moderate" to turn his back upon the party identification he had freely relied upon before the voters merely short months previously! Hypocrisy thy name is Democrat; or is it Democrats, thy name is hypocrisy?or maybe it is Democrats thy name is demagoguery! Somewhere in those pairings is the hard enduring truth! Enjoy your columns.
Jerry Dunn, Greenville, SC
But It Is An Island, Like Jamaica
If New York Press expects to be taken seriously for its news reporting and analysis, its writers and editors should learn the correct names of Greater New York's many neighborhoods. There's no such place as "Roosevelt, Queens," mentioned in the first paragraph of the front-page story "Manuel Labor" (3/13). Roosevelt Ave. between 73rd and 74th Sts. is in Jackson Heights, close to JH's borders with Woodside (to the west) and Elmhurst (to the south).
Warren G. Harris, Long Island City
He Worships Private Ryan
Armond White's faint-praise damning of We Were Soldiers ("Film," 3/6) is just more of his usual tired and dyspeptic ranting against any whiff of things patriotic. Particularly sullying was his acid-reflux charge about what he termed an "inarticulate negro" cliche. I am certain the response was peculiar to him. As an ex-GI, I found Simbi Khali Williams' scene to be the most effective and heartbreaking rendering of watching someone react to news of the death of a loved one that I have ever witnessed. I left the theater thinking it was too bad her supporting role was so small; her acting would otherwise deserve an Oscar. Odd how liberals reserve for themselves the right to caricature the performance of a minority in the name of enlightened criticism. As for the cynical Mr. White, we find our own level I suppose. It seems probable he has lived through the death of a loved one; it is less certain if it registered an effect.
David Rooks, Hot Springs, SD
Have the Matzoh-Ball Soup
Alexander Cockburn writes, "There are a number of stories sloshing around the news now that have raised discussion of Israel and of the posture of American Jews to an acrid level" ("Wild Justice", 3/13). He then sites reports of Jewish spies and a Jewish, anti-Muslim government scientist.
Cockburn chooses not to acknowledge that nearly all of these news pieces, including the one published by the AP, were debunked as urban myths that the Justice Dept. says "have been circulating for months," as reported in The Washington Post by John Mintz and Dan Eggen on March 6, 2002. The allegations first surfaced in a French online publication called Intelligence Online: not surprising, given that French anti-Semitism has been rearing its familiar head lately.
Cockburn then says that "Jude Wanniski remarked last week...that...it was certainly true to say that the Jews control discussion of Israel in the media here." If there is veracity to the claim that a "Zionist media" exists (as is the assertion of the benevolent governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as state-controlled presses assert that Sept. 11 was part of a Zionist conspiracy), then, it is fascinating that all of this propaganda about Jewish spies and Jewish government scientists is "sloshing around the news" and it is to the "Jewish Media's" credit that so many points of view have been surfacing in the American press lately concerning Israel. Most of the reporting done by The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., has been highly critical of Israel's recent treatment of the Palestinians. Indeed, Yasir Arafat's career as a "peacemaker" was virtually resurrected by the Times, just as the Bush administration was considering cutting all ties with the PLO. NPR has even gone so far as to provide a revisionist history of the Middle East conflict to buttress their pro-PLO bias, claiming, "The Jewish quarter of the Old Walled City was respected but neglected during the years of Jordanian rule." (This isn't true. The Jewish Quarter was shelled to rubble under the Jordanians.)
I could cite a dozen more anti-Jewish and/or anti-Israeli fictions regularly touted as fact by the Jewish-controlled American media. However, I'm due to meet Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Mel Brooks at the 2nd Avenue Deli for lunch. We're discussing a new movie I'm scripting called The Last Temptation of Mohammed. After that, we're having dessert with the owners of New York Press, where we will decide what to do about Cockburn's regurgitating of anti-Jewish rhetoric without making it clear that this propaganda has been cited as bogus by other sources.
David Sobel, Brooklyn
I ask you this: When will people learn that you get what you pay for? I am referring, of course, to the fight against the power plant in Greenpoint ("New York City," 3/6). Greenpoint, as everyone knows, is the new Williamsburg. People live there because it has cheap rent and reasonable proximity to Manhattan (plus a cute ethnic community and a fair amount of industrial property that can be converted to mixed use?although the subway access is some of the worst in the city). Building a new power plant is one of the best things you can do to make sure rents stay low. I'll bet a lot of people in Williamsburg wish they had a power plant in the neighborhood. Don't be stupid, Greenpointers, get that power plant.
On another note, I keep hoping that Mike Signorile is just a figment of William Monahan's imagination and will disappear soon. If he is, can you please get Monahan to sober up soon?
Jabairu S. Tork, Boston
Block that Jaws Metaphor
MIKE Signorile: I just read your column on the "Vatican's Closet" ("The Gist," 3/13) and thought I'd send a note that didn't castigate and vilify you. Sure do disagree with some of what you said. Mainly because I only am hearing reports of child abuse from priests in the U.S. church. No reports from, say, Italy, France, Korea means?what? I dunno. Maybe that the number of pedophilia cases is as hugely exaggerated as the "shocking increase" in the number of shark attacks last summer? If not, hopefully it's that the priests there are keeping their vows! As to whether the church hierarchy is looking to evict all gays from the priesthood?well, you make a good point in noting the inconsistency between the "hate the sin, not the sinner" view and a wish to oust gays from the priesthood. Nasty stuff; I'm praying it leads?eventually?to a better priesthood. Though in our self-indulgence culture, I don't see that happening without some real divine intervention. Hope all's well with you and yours.
Norman McDonell, River Forest, IL
Misses His Friday Fish-Fry
MIKE Signorile: Enjoyed your article. I am one of those moralists?at least a somewhat Christian fundamentalist?who agrees with much of what you wrote. Putting aside the gay priests?the pedophiles?celibacy and all that is involved, there is one point regarding the Catholic Church you may know but failed to point out. The liberalization of the church started with the second Vatican Council. Vatican II ushered in a new social gospel that tried to fit Christianity into the worldview. Christ's message was changed and amended to include a whole lotta freedoms that did not sit well with the true doctrine of Catholicism.
Since the door opened, and the church tried hard to have the world accept it by modifying its stances on many issues to agree with modern society?something happened. The Christian Church lost its soul.
Truly we as Christians are to love one another?but not love the sin. We are not to look upon sin as just something that has become acceptable because modern times demand modern values. My God doesn't condone sex outside of a man-woman marriage?we are to hate every wrong path, but not those we believe are walking on that path. Bottom line?the church got scared of its own truth?and began to live a lie. You are right on about the Pope's hypocrisy. It's also hypocritical for a true follower of Christ to embrace Islam, Judaism or anything else because that would validate something other than the truth.
These are my beliefs. I love you as I love myself...and I mean that. One thing you have touched on is this: the greatest enemy of the church today is not the gay issue, abortion, atheism, etc. The greatest enemy lies within.
Dave Macy, Ft. Wayne, IN
Cross About Global
MUGGER: In the name of accurate reporting (3/13), I highly doubt that very few people, companies, etc., contribute to politicians without first being solicited by the politician. Therefore, one should report that John McCain (or any other politician) did not receive a contribution from Global Crossing but rather that John McCain solicited contributions from Global Crossing. We have been giving the politicians a free ride and letting them paint themselves as victims, when actually it is the contributors who have been arm-twisted and most probably threatened.
Pete Campbell, Gonzales, LA
Up the Anti-
You got some real ig'nert readers, y'know. Like the jerks who wrote in about the new power plants ("The Mail," 3/13). Yo, listen up, assholes, the people of Greenpoint aren't anti-electricity. They're anti-pollution and anti-bullshit, and the power plants being built are a scam. For instance, those scumbag crooks at Con Edison are selling the gigantic power plant next to the United Nations building so luxury condos can be built there, because it's a R-I-C-H, W-H-I-T-E neighborhood. And then Con Ed has the nerve to cry, "We need more power generators!" and "Sorry, but we've got to put them in poor neighborhoods because that's where the infrastructure is." It's absolute bullshit.
Yeah, and like New York City doesn't have enough luxury condos going up already! Check it out: 85 percent of the housing construction in the last decade has been for luxury fucking condos! I also really liked the clown who complained about you guys making fun of the cops in your cover cartoon ("The Mail," 3/6).
I used to work on 23rd St. where hungry people could choose among a dozen different food establishments. But did the cops ever go into McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway or any of the many other joints? Nope. Many times per day I watched them go into...Dunkin' Donuts! Cops in this city are stupid and lazy, period! (I should mention that they always parked their cruisers illegally while running in to get their donuts, but I won't.)
And finally, let me congratulate MUGGER for standing up to the "liberal" media. I've been so pissed that the media has bashed our great president endlessly, blaming his failures for 9/11 and more. How dare they criticize our leader! (They even refuse to call him the "president" just because most Americans voted for Al Gore! Fuckin' liberals!) Hey MUGGER, pass me some of that hootchie-mackoo you're smoking!
Oh yeah, here's one last no-brainer for y'all: pundits who insult our government are not "anti-American," as Joe McCarthy MUGGER would say. People who don't insult our government are anti-American, and maybe if MUGGER didn't have shit for brains, and read a history book once in his life, he'd know that this nation was founded by anti-government patriots. And maybe he'd notice that all our national holidays are for people who attacked their own governments, from George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. to Jesus H. Christ! If you don't attack your own government, then you are anti-American!
Tom Bachar, Manhattan
Covering All the Bases
MUGGER: George Will was brilliant in bringing Sen. McCain's motives on CFR to light (3/13). You are brilliant for acknowledging George Will. I am brilliant for acknowledging you. Did I leave anybody out? Oh yeah, Tom Daschle is dumber than a sack full of hammers, and an asshole to boot. I think that covers everything for this week. Good luck, Grady Little. Go Astros and Red Sox, on to the World Series in 2002.
Tracy Meadows, Brenham, TX
And the Oscar Goes to...
Russ Smith says that Bush is not much of an actor and that he is, unlike Clinton, very sincere (3/13). It is obvious that he looks at Bush through rose-colored glasses. For example, last week Bush was criticized for being insensitive to the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan. So the next time he spoke in front of families of soldiers he made sure that he faked some tears. The fact is that Bush is the biggest phony in U.S. history. He likes to pretend that he is the friend of working-class Americans but his policies show that the only people he cares about are rich people like himself.
Clinton on the other hand was the real deal. He had genuine empathy and understanding of the American people and that is why every aspect of American life was in better shape after Clinton left office. And Bush is doing his best to destroy the Clinton legacy.
Reba Shimansky, Brooklyn
Great White Way
I have read Scott McConnell's objections ("Taki's Top Drawer," 3/13) to any movement to promote the interests of whites as a group, and was surprised by his assertion that "white" is too indefinite a category to sustain the loyalties such a movement would require. It is certainly not too indefinite a category when people make important decisions: where to live, where to send their children to school, which church or club to join, whom to marry and whom to invite to dinner.
Whether they think about it in explicitly racial terms, most whites prefer the company of whites, and know that if their neighborhood, church or school becomes majority nonwhite they will leave. This is such a well-established phenomenon it has a name: white flight. When refugees from integration (or, increasingly, immigration) go looking for a new home, what they want most are white neighbors. It is among whites?and that category suddenly becomes wonderfully precise and definite?that they find the texture of life their old neighborhood has lost.
Think, if you will, of five neighborhoods in which you would like to live. All are majority-white. Can you think of a single majority nonwhite neighborhood?anywhere in the world?in which you would buy a house? Whites build particular kinds of societies, whether in Manhattan or Zurich or Australia; a kind no one else has ever built. If whites permit themselves to be displaced, it is not just the high culture of the West that could disappear but such things as representative government, rule of law and freedom of speech, which whites usually get right and everyone else usually gets wrong.
Whites know that unchecked immigration from Mexico and Haiti turns more and more of the country into places where they feel?and are?alien. In their bones they know minority status is a terrible legacy to leave their grandchildren. It is entirely proper and moral to take measures to protect one's people and culture. Every nonwhite group takes this for granted and thinks nothing of advancing its interests at our expense. I hope to alert whites to the crisis of dispossession they face, and to encourage them to act now in defense of the things they love.
Jared Taylor, Oakton, VA